The Obama's Hypocritical Date to NYC

It was a campaign pledge that Barack Obama didn't dare break - a promise to take his wife out for dinner and a show once the election was over.

So on the weekend he booked a babysitter, asked Michelle to put on a little black dress and swept her off for a date.

The President picked up the tab for a meal at a low-key restaurant, Blue Hill, that specialises in locally grown dishes.

He had also paid £60 apiece for two tickets to Joe Turner's Come And Gone, a play about a man coming to terms with the history of slavery.

As a little extra, he shelled out for two martinis to toast his first five months in the White House.

Overall, not too extravagant, and few would begrudge the hard-working couple such a treat.

Unfortunately, there were one or two other bills to settle at the end of the night.

The romantic jaunt is estimated to have cost the taxpayer more than £45,000 in transport and security costs - because the date was in New York.

The President used three planes, one to carry the couple and two to ferry aides and reporters all the way from Washington.

The cost of each flight was thought to be nearly £15,000.

The bill was pushed even higher with the use of two helicopters, one to take the Obamas to catch their plane in Washington and another to zip the party into Manhattan from JFK airport.

Police also shut down New York streets for the motorcade to pass through so they could get to their date on time.

All the transport and security costs were picked up by the White House.

But the President was unapologetic, saying: 'I am taking my wife to New York City because I promised her during the campaign that I would take her to a Broadway show after it was all finished.'

In one concession to the tough economic climate, the couple flew on a smaller Gulfstream rather than the Boeing 747 customarily used as the presidential Air Force One.

Let's go back to May 16th 2008, just over a year ago:

"We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times ... and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK," Obama said.

"That's not leadership. That's not going to happen," he added.

I guess things have changed eh? The American people can't drive SUVs, eat what they want, or keep their houses cool, but it's ok to fly a 747 for two people to NYC for dinner and a show, as well as two other planes for aides and reporters. And of course it's ok to take helicopters to and from the airport, because a cab would be too lower class.

Look, I could give a flying freak what you do, and how you waste our money, because you are going to waste it no matter how I feel. But do you have to be such a hypocrite? Do you have to be so extravagant in a recession? Do you have to live a double standard? "That's not leadership."


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